The Value of Awards Programs

I earned my PR stripes at an agency that was big on entering awards – local, regional, national, you name it. And despite the entry process sometimes being a fair amount of effort, we still submitted quite a few and won more than our fair share as a result.

That experience taught me that the value of awards programs goes well beyond being recognized as an agency for outstanding campaigns or execution. It’s about seeing the pride and excitement on the faces of employees when they learn their project won. It’s about sharing that joy with clients who believed in you from the start. It’s about celebrating achievements of the team, where the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts.

When I joined Catalyst 23 years ago, we weren’t big on awards. But slowly, as we began to expand our client work and capabilities, we started entering them – and have since been honored by a number of organizations including the Public Relations Society of America, The PR Club (formerly Publicity Club of New England) and the CT Press Club.

In fact, about two months ago, we were recognized with six CT Press Club Awards (three first place, a second and a third-place award). Three of these pieces earned national distinction from the National Federation of Press Women – with first, second and third place awards. Winning national recognition is a rare achievement, and to come away with three awards is indeed extraordinary.


These projects were distinguished because of the outstanding work of Tom Renner, a journalist with 30+ years of experience, who crossed the line into the world of public relations in 2017 when he joined Catalyst as an account executive.

We share this most recent recognition with two of our clients – The BILCO Company and igus – for whom these projects were executed and whose trust and loyalty over the years means more than any award ever could.

As a PR person myself, I know how tough it can be to achieve publicity in today’s ever-challenging media environment. I also know you don’t need to win awards to validate that you do great work. But, let’s face it, it sure is nice to be a winner!